Alright. Here, we have a brand new story from me. A little while back, I dived into my first pure Dragon Ball Z Fanfiction, and in doing so, I discovered one thing. It's tough to have one true pairing when you keep falling for new ones. And my first experience with Dragon Ball Z stories was Gohan, and Videl. And of course, whenever I fall for a new archetype of story, my brain can't help but shift into maximum overdrive to think up my own plot. It's nearly a reflex. And… I think I have a good one here.
In this story, we've got a bit of an AU going, because here, besides some other minor changes, Gohan isn't going to highschool until after the conclusion of the Buu Saga. Yes. The entire Saga went down before Gohan even left Mt. Pauzo. This chapter will mainly be a prologue, detailing out how the majority of the Saga went down with these changes.
I'm trying to make this story as unique as possible. I hope I live up to your expectations!
Prologue: Another Time…
"What?! No way! Dad, you're really coming back for a day?!"
"Yeah, in about a month, on the day of the World Martial Arts Tournament" Goku said, speaking from Otherworld through King Kai.
"The World Tournament?" Gohan asked, curious as to why he chose that particular day.
"Well, I figured it would be a great chance for us to spend some time together seeing how strong we've all become" Goku said cheerfully. "It'll be just like old times for Krillin and the others, and you'll be able to experience your own!"
Gohan grimaced, as he couldn't help but remember that he had taken place in a world championship before, just not the Tenkaichi Budokai itself. That time hadn't gone well. It had been dreadfully boring, until he and his friends were put up against a band of space pirates and their leader, Bojack. Then, he would have prefered the boring again.
But this time, not only would there be no threat like Bojack, but his father would be there! His father, who he hadn't seen in almost seven years, since Cell's defeat. The greatest hero the world would never know.
"This sounds too good to be true" ChiChi said, clutching her chest. "But, you only get a day?"
"Twenty-four hours" Goku said. "From one morning to the one after."
"Oh, it figures you'd choose the one day that the tournament is going on to come back" ChiChi frowned. "Why couldn't you spend it with your family?"
"But I will be spending it with my family" Goku pointed out. "We'll all be able to be together during the tournament, we'll have a chance to spar, and afterwards, we can find something else to do."
ChiChi's frown lessened. "Well, I guess when you put it like that…" she mused.
"And besides, even if I wanted to, I couldn't choose a different day" Goku said. "King Kai told me that I'm only allowed to come for a day on the seventh day after each seventh anniversary of my death. It didn't make much sense to me, but that's what he told me."
"Look on the bright side, Mom" Gohan said happily. "Dad'll be coming back for the entire day, tournament or no, and it'll give us an excuse to have a family gathering!"
"Yeah, you are right" ChiChi said. "Kami knows the last time we were able to actually visit with Bulma and the others." She looked up. "Oh, Goku, I can't wait to see you again!"
"And I can't wait to see all of you either, ChiChi" Goku said. "Well, I've got to go for now. King Kai is griping about long-distance calls again. I'll see you all at the tournament!"
"Bye, Dad!" Gohan said, waving upwards.
"Bye, Goku" ChiChi said, doing the same.
And with that, the unmistakable presence Goku had had, even if it was ever so brief, had left them once again. Gohan and ChiChi were left standing all alone in their living room.
Gohan turned around and grinned. "Dad's coming home!" he cheered. "Just a month away. We'll get to see him again, Goten will be able to meet him, this is all awesome!"
While she wasn't as outwardly energetic about it, ChiChi was just as happy as her son that Goku would be returning. "I'm sure Goten will be very excited, son" she smiled.
Gohan nodded, before a thought came to mind. "Hey Mom?" he asked. "Since Dad'll be coming back to participate in the tournament, do you think that, well, if it would be already for me to skip studying for a while to get some training in?"
"What?" ChiChi asked. "I thought I raised you better than that. You know your studies take priority over everything else!"
"But Mom!" Gohan complained. "I'm already ahead of most college graduates, and then some. Besides, don't the World Tournaments usually have prize money involved? You were talking the other day about not having enough money to pay the bills. If I train, there's a better chance I could win for us."
Frowning, ChiChi sighed. "You do raise a good point" she said. "Just making it to the semifinals in that tournament with Goku would have earned me a million zeni, if the ring hadn't gotten blown up afterwards." She looked up. "Between you and Goku, I'm sure one of you can at least make it to the finals."
"'At least?'" Gohan chuckled. "Don't be too confident in us, Mom."
"Listen, I know just about no fighter out there holds a candle my little boy" ChiChi said. "But if Goku's entering, then that barbarian Vegeta probably will too. He does nothing but train, and he doesn't care about injuring people."
"Oh, Vegeta, how could I have forgotten about him?" Gohan facepalmed. "If I get matched up with him before he gets matched up with my Dad, I'm as good as dead. He would do anything to fight him."
ChiChi gave her son a sharp look. "Well, what are you waiting for?" she asked, surprising him. "If you're going to be training instead of studying, then I expect you to put your full effort into it. We still have a few hours of daylight left, go make the most of it! I'll send Goten for you when he comes back from his play date with Trunks."
Surprised that she had not only relented so easily, but was now commanding him to go train, Gohan stumbled for a moment before dashing for his room. "Alright, Mom" he said. Stopping in his closet, Gohan swiftly threw on a navy blue gi, and grabbed four weighted bands, fitting them around his wrists and ankles, before flying out the window, almost colliding with the frame.
"Geez, I really am out of shape" he thought, the harsh reality hitting him. "This weight would have been nothing seven years ago. Man, I hope that I have enough time to get back into practice."
One Month Later
"Man, I can't tell you how good it feels to finally be out of the house" Gohan said, stretching. "I can't remember the last time I left Mount Paozu."
"I wish ChiChi would let you out more, but I guess she is trying to give you a good life" his father, halo hanging above his head, shrugged.
Mere moments ago, upon the arrival of the entire gang to the ancient island the Tenkaichi Budokai was always hosted on, Goku had flitted into existence, alongside Roshi's sister, Baba. Goku and the others were warned that he only had 24 hours to stay, so to make the most of it unless they wanted to wait another seven years.
But even that reminder couldn't bring them down. A tearful reunion soon followed, and Goten was able to meet Goku for the first time. He was nervous, but quickly warmed up to his full-blooded Saiyan father, who couldn't be any different than the only other full Saiyan he knew, Trunks' dad. He was currently riding on his father's shoulder as they walked towards registration.
"And he will have one" ChiChi declared. "My baby is going to be able to go anywhere and do anything he wants in a few years."
"Mom…" Gohan groaned, turning slightly red. "Do you have to call me that in public? I'm almost seventeen, it's embarrassing!"
"Gohan, you know full well that you will always be my baby" ChiChi delivered the classic mom phrase, much to Gohan's chagrin.
Goku chuckled at his son. "So, we just have to not go Super Saiyan? That sounds alright to me."
"To me as well, Kakarot" Vegeta smirked, trailing behind the group. "Even without the transformation, I will utterly humiliate you in the ring."
"Oh yeah?" Goku asked. "Well, I guess miracles can happen."
"Miracles, eh?" Vegeta's smirk grew. "Please, I don't even need one of the Dragon Balls to make this happen."
"Aaaaaand, they're off" Gohan said as his father and Vegeta continued to bicker.
For several minutes, that was all he was able to hear, before a roaring of loud cheers began to wash over them all. His father and Vegeta managed to look up from their debate long enough to see what was going on.
"Oh look, it's the clown that makes Kakarot look downright Saiyan" Vegeta huffed.
"YEEEAAAAAHH!" the unmistakable deep voice of Hercule Satan rang over the chaos.
Krillin massaged his temples. "You know, I bet that he's going to go on some speech about how we're just tricksters and he's the strongest on the planet. It takes an exceptionally good liar to believe his own stories."
"I'll say" Yamcha agreed. "I'm not even fighting, and I feel bad for all the energy users in the tournament."
"So… Us?" Gohan asked.
"Yup, pretty much it" Yamcha laughed.
Piccolo looked over towards the crowd. "It was necessary for us to let him take the credit for Cell, but I didn't think he would go so far as to discredit the ones who did all the work. I suspect my former incarnation would have enjoyed that particular brand of evil."
Krillin rolled his eyes. "Not sure about evil, but whatever it is, let's go before we have to hear any more of it."
"I'D SAY MY CHANCES OF WINNING ARE ABOUT, 120%!"
Krillin sighed. "Too late."
"Good 'ol number 1" Goku grinned as he held his ball up to the announcer.
"Alright, then that only leaves…" the announcer looked down. "Mighty Mask. Mighty Mask, are you here?"
"Coming!" an extremely awkward sounding voice came from beneath a green and white cloak as he hobbled over.
"Sheesh, get a load of that guy" Krillin muttered. "I've never seen a fighter so uncoordinated make it through the preliminaries. Probably courtesy of that punching machine Vegeta broke."
"It's not my fault that their weak Earthling technology can't even handle one quarter of a real punch" Vegeta defended himself.
"Number 8, I see" the announcer scribbled it down. "Alright, and with that, we have our listings."
Turning the large board around, everyone got a clear look at the matchups. Of course, only one mattered to the Z-Fighters.
"Goku and Vegeta in the first round?!" Krillin exclaimed. Piccolo's eyes bulged, and for the umpteenth time that day, Gohan let out an exasperated sigh and facepalmed. Krillin turned around to face the others. "Well, guys, looks like we won't have to worry about our fights. This island is going to by seven thousand leagues under the sea before we even get to step into the ring."
"Awesome, I get to fight Vegeta while I'm still nice and fresh!" Goku cheered. "This is gonna be great."
"Yes, if by great you mean painful" Vegeta said. "Well, Kakarot, are you ready to get pounded into the tiles?"
"Come on, you'd have to get above me first to pound me down" Goku teased.
Vegeta's face burned red. "Was that a joke about my height?" he growled lowly. If there was one thing he couldn't stand, it was people making fun of his height.
"I dunno, was it?" Goku asked innocently.
"OH, you are so going to get it out there!" Vegeta declared.
The first round consisted of eight matchups. Up first, the two Saiyans, which made any and all subsequent matches seem rather inconsequential. Up next was a mysterious fighter Shin against Gohan. Then it was Spopovich vs. Krillin, Pintar vs. Yamu, Killa against Mighty Mask, Kibito vs. Videl, Jewel vs. Piccolo, and 18 vs. Hercule to tie up the first round.
"Ugh, I'm not even going to get a warmup" 18 muttered. "Oh well, at least we can finally shut that buffoon up." Considering that Hercule kept claiming to have bested Cell, who had defeated 18 herself, she felt a twinge more annoyed at his claims over the others.
"Just take it easy on him" Krillin warned her wife. "For how strong he claims to be, he might as well be made of glass. You don't need to get the boot for cracking his skull by poking him."
"Fine" 18 said plainly, turning away.
Gohan frowned and stood beside his father. "Do we have a read on those two yet?" he asked, nodding towards Shin and Kibito.
Goku shook his head. "It's strange. I can feel them, and they're powerful, but I can't get a lock on them." He scratched his head. "I've never felt anything like it. Their energy, it's different."
"Well, I have to fight that Shin guy right after you and Vegeta fight" Gohan stated. "That is, if the ring is still standing. I guess I'll just do my best."
Goku clapped him on the back. "Come on, I'm sure you'll do great" he said.
"Thanks, but that all depends on how strong Shin is" Gohan pointed out. "I mean, I've only trained this last month out of the last seven years. Literally all the rest of my time has been studying, eating, and sleeping. I've barely been outside, so I'm still a little out of shape."
Goku blinked. "I knew ChiChi was keeping things strict, but I didn't know you've been locked inside…" he said. "You never really got a chance to be a kid, did you?"
"Nah, not really, but that's ok" Gohan said. "I'm able to get out right now, and I'm loving it."
Goku frowned a little, before turning back to the ring. "Well, it looks like I'm up against Vegeta in a few minutes here. I promise, I'll be right back after I've knocked him out, then we can have our fight!"
Gohan chuckled at his father, still so childishly excited over the idea of a good battle. "Ok. Go kick his butt, I think his pride has grown a little out of control. Cut him down to size." He paused. "Well, more down to size."
Goku smiled. "You bet. See ya' in a bit, son!"
As Goku emerged out into the center of the stadium alongside Vegeta, as the announcer began to introduce him as a former champion of the tournament, Gohan all of a sudden felt a sick sense of foreboding. It was gone almost as soon as it left, but it left his stomach crawling. He glanced around. He felt some form of bad energy around him, but he couldn't pinpoint it on either of the two mysterious fighters.
"What is that?" he wondered.
"Well, Kakarot, I personally think that we would need a whole planet to stage our rematch upon, but I suppose this will have to do for now" Vegeta said, dropping into stance.
Goku fell into his own stance, staring back, unwavering. "You're in my world now, Vegeta" he smirked. "I'm used to these tournaments. Let's see how far you can go without breaking any of the rules."
"Oh yeah?" Vegeta asked. "How about this? We skip the warm up, and go all out, right here, right now."
"Sounds great" Goku nodded, muscles tensing.
A gust of wind shot outwards, buffeting all the spectators in the stands. Eyes grew wide as a brilliant white aura sprang up around the two fighters, making everything else seem dim in contrast.
They rose their power as high as they could go without transforming, before dropping low, ready to spring at each other at the drop of a pin.
Vegeta's foot shifted ever so slightly, and Goku lunged forward, arm raised. Ready to sink it into his eternal rival, Goku suddenly stopped short, ten feet away, eyes widening in surprise. "Hrrgh" he grunted, trying to move, but immobilized by some invisible force.
Vegeta, still on the ground, tried to move too, but found himself similarly frozen. "What the devil is this?!" he swore.
Goku's eyes snapped to the side, where he could barely make out two figures dashing towards them out of the corner of his vision. Two fighters, Spopovich and Yamu, dashed towards them. He tried to turn and meet them, but was still frozen. The announcer tried to tell the two off for interfering with the fight, but they didn't falter. Yamu held a large pot with a sharp spout in his hands. And its purpose rapidly became clear.
Spopovich came up behind Vegeta and locked him into a bear hug, pinning his arms and trapping him even more, before Yamu lunged forward and sank the pointed tip deep into Vegeta's side. Vegeta grunted in pain, and began growling as his aura rapidly faded, sinking back into his body and out of the wound, into the pot. Vegeta grew pale, and his struggling slowly stopped, until he was completely limp.
"Vegeta, no!" Goku shouted.
Spopovich dropped Vegeta's body to the ground, where he lied still, barely breathing. Yamu removed the pot and turned around. "The other one" he said gruffly, before the two sprang forward at him.
Goku tensed up, using all his power in an attempt to break free of whatever restraint they were casting, but couldn't break through. Just as he was about to be stabbed by their strange pot, a bright blue beam of light shot post them, soaring up into the air between the two. Grimacing, the two muscle-bound fighters turned away from Goku and darted into the air.
Goku felt himself be released as he fell back to the ground, just in time to see Gohan dash into the ring, hair ignited a fiery gold, an ascended Super Saiyan. "Dad, are you alright?!" he asked, kneeling down to check on his father.
"Yeah, I'm fine, but Vegeta doesn't look too good" Goku said, looking at the fallen Saiyan prince.
"...Of… Of all the times… To not have… One of those damn beans…" Vegeta said, anger shining through the weakness in his voice.
Goku reached down and flung Vegeta over his shoulder. "Come on, we'll get you fixed up."
"No, leave him right there" a new voice commanded them. Goku and Gohan turned around to see a large man with red skin strolling towards them, Kibito. Shin trailed right behind him.
Now that the immediate shock was ending, Gohan became dimly aware of the crowd's panic, and was glad he was disguised as a Super Saiyan. "What do you want?" he said sharply, still on edge from the previous events.
"Watch your tone" Kibito commanded. "Now, set Vegeta on the ground."
"Yeah, tell me why" Goku said, face stern. He still wasn't sure about these two.
"Goku, we are running out of time" Shin said, stepping up alongside Kibito. "Allow Vegeta on the ground, and Kibito will take care of him. Meanwhile, you must come with me. You as well, Gohan."
"Hang on, how did you know it was me?" Gohan asked. "And who are you to tell me and my dad what to do?"
"That is no way to address the Supreme Kai" Kibito said sharply.
Goku gasped. "The Supreme Kai?" he said. "King Kai said you exist, but even he barely knew anything about you."
"There is a reason for that" Shin said. "But for now, trust me. We don't have time to waste."
Hesitating for a split second, he placed Vegeta back on the ground. He stood up and looked at the Supreme Kai. "Ok, I will" he said. "What do you need us to do?"
Shin levitated into the air. "Follow me" he said simply. "Oh, and I trust that you, Piccolo, will tell the others that want to help the same?"
He hadn't raised his voice at all, which meant he knew Piccolo. Back in the waiting room, the two of them caught a glimpse of the Namekian nodding and turning away.
Turning in the air, Shin flew off in the direction that Spopovich and Yamu had flown in. Goku looked over at his son. "Well, I hope that your mom won't be too mad at us" he said, lifting off the ground.
Still transformed, Gohan couldn't help but chuckle darkly as his father said that. "Me too, but for now, let's see what the Supreme Kai needs."
The two took off into the blue sky, ignoring the gasps from the stadium below, as Kibito kneeled over Vegeta, a bright light pouring from his hands.
And down in the champion's box, one voice rang clear over the tumult the stadium was in. "IT'S A TRICK, IT'S ALL A TRICK!"
Krillin nudged Yamcha in the side. "Alright, pay up."
Three Days Later
Majin Buu had been freed. Babidi's magic had managed to collect all the magic he needed to unleash the demon, before they went on a rampage. Goku had fought at full power, in the new state he had unlocked, Super Saiyan 3, but even that proved to be too little to stop the monster. Using the last of the energy he had left after his battle, he got his son and Vegeta's child started on practicing the Fusion Technique, before the last of his energy left him, and he returned to Otherworld, where he found his son, but miraculously, not in the way he expected.
Goten and Trunks mastered the Fusion Technique in just a few days, giving birth to the new super warrior, Gotenks. So far, two attempts to defeat Majin Buu with this new warrior had failed, and before they could try the job once more, he changed. The evil became more prevalent, and the new Super Buu was born.
After training for a long time in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, they fought Super Buu, now on a completely new level. With nearly the entire populace of Earth killed by Buu's attack, Gotenks didn't hold back, and used 100% of his power, as a Super Saiyan 3.
However, just before the job could be finished, his power failed him, and Buu had gained the advantage once more. All hope seemed lost, until he came swooping in.
Gohan, donned in an orange gi, not unlike his father's, flew out of the sky, and began to decimate the Majin with almost no effort. He held the complete advantage, and no matter how hard he tried, Buu could not stand up to him. Which is why, as a last resort, Buu self-destructed, causing Gohan to flee with the children and Piccolo.
And so, there they were, flying over the wasteland that the Earth had become, and Piccolo wondered how Gohan had gone from the kid he knew before to the new, confident, powerful warrior that flew alongside him. Gohan simply chuckled in response.
"While I'm glad that we now have the means to defeat Buu, it makes little difference now" Piccolo sighed, having gotten over his happiness at Gohan's return. "Buu murdered everyone, including Dende, which means the Dragon Balls are useless stones now. We can't wish anyone back!"
Gohan shook his head. "You're too soon to give up hope, Piccolo" he said. "Can't you feel it? There aren't exactly many distractions out there."
"What?" Piccolo asked. Closing his eyes, within seconds, he gasped. "How could I have missed that before? It's so obvious!"
"He's still out there" Gohan nodded. "The little guy's a survivor, I'll tell you that much." He frowned in concentration. "Hey, there's someone else out here, too" he noticed. "I thought Buu killed everyone?"
"He did" Piccolo said, frowning. A moment later, that frown transition to a light grin. "Well, what do you know? Of all the people to survive, he would still be around."
"Who is it?" Gohan asked.
Piccolo nodded downwards. Narrowing his eyes, Gohan looked downwards, and managed to barely make out a figure with bushy hair and dressed in brown and white. "You're kidding me…" he chuckled, turning downwards and descending through the air.
"Oh, Angel of Death, just take me now" Hercule's voice came up to them. At that moment, Gohan flew right between Hercule and the sun, casting his shadow over him. Looking up in surprise, Hercule shrieked. "NO, wait, I take it back!"
Grabbing Hercule by the shoulders, Gohan flew back into the air, making extra sure to not drop the struggling man as he rejoined the other three. Hercule slowly unfurled and stopped struggling, looking around. His face became confused, as he recognized Trunks, the boy who had slugged him into the wall during the Junior Championships, and Goten, his opponent there. He noticed Piccolo, or as he knew him, Majunior. And then he looked up and noticed Gohan.
"How's it goin', Mr. Satan?" Gohan asked, smiling. He noticed a small dog cradled in Hercule's gi, and was glad that he hadn't accidentally dropped it either.
"Uh… You all, from the Tournament" Hercule stuttered. "What… What in the… How…?"
"It's a long story, Satan" Piccolo said. "We'll explain it once we're there."
"What?" Hercule asked. "Where? Who are you guys?"
"Well, I'm just our biggest hope of beating Buu."
"What? How could you defeat Buu?" Hercule asked, half glaring at Gohan. "Whatever trick your using to fly, it wouldn't be enough to stop a monster like what he turned into."
"First off, it's not a trick" Gohan pointed out. "Just because you don't know how, doesn't change that. And as for how I could beat Buu, well, you might not recognize me, but you might remember an alias I was known by once."
"Huh?" Hercule asked.
"Mr. Satan, I was the delivery boy."
The group had flown in silence for a while, until Piccolo spotted Dende on the surface below. There was a brief reunion with the guardian, who hadn't learned that Gohan was still alive yet, before they settled down and clued each other in on the situation.
"What? He killed everyone?!" Hercule exclaimed.
"Yes, just two hours ago, Majin Buu killed all the remaining humans on the planet" Piccolo said. "You and those of us right near him were the only ones spared. However, even our friends soon fell to his second attack."
"B-b-but, that can't be right! They must be hiding, everyone c-c-can't be dead!" Hercule protested.
"Listen, Hercule!" Piccolo said, more sternly. "We can sense life force. Whether you continue to call it a trick or not, this is real! And through our sense, we know, for a fact, that besides us and Buu himself, only one person has survived, one of our allies. Buu, him, and us are the only ones left. No. One. Else. Survived!"
Hercule fell to the ground. "Buu… He used to be good…" he whimpered. "He changed… And he killed everyone… He… He killed my daughter… My little girl…"
Even Piccolo couldn't say anything to this. He had been aware that Buu had been changed by Hercule, but when he entered his Super Form, all of that left. And to lose a loved one… It was hard on anyone.
Gohan's face fell, and hesitantly, he placed a hand on Hercule's shoulder. "We've all lost people to Buu, Mr. Satan" he said. "Me and Goten lost our mothers, Trunks lost both his parents, and just about all of our friends have passed away."
"All gone…" Hercule sobbed.
"Hey, don't worry, Mister" Goten said cheerily. "We found Dende. Everyone can come back to life once the Buu monster is dead!"
Hercule frowned and shot a glare at the young child. To a normal human, the look would have been terrifying. Goten didn't even blink. "Don't you understand, you little brat?!" he nearly shouted. "Dead is dead! No one can come back from the dead!"
"That's actually not quite true, Mr. Satan" Dende said. "You see, when I came here-"
His sentence stopped short as he gasped and looked skyward, the boys, Gohan, and Piccolo following suit. "He's back… So soon!" Piccolo growled.
"What? Who?" Hercule asked, stopping short as he realized there could only be one 'he.' "B-b-b-buu?"
Sure enough, far on the horizon, a pink being rapidly approached through the air. Sparks leapt up around Gohan, and his eyes sharpened as he locked onto the Majin. "It's okay, guys" he said. "His power hasn't gone up one bit. I've got this handled."
"No! Gohan's getting beaten out there!" Goku cursed, slamming his fist on the ground hard enough to form a crater. "Damn it! When Buu absorbed the boys and Piccolo, he became too strong!"
"No, I never thought he would absorb those two" Shin said fearfully. "He hasn't done that since… Since…" he couldn't continue.
Goku frowned in anger. "I can't let Gohan fight him alone!" he shouted. While Tien had shown up a moment ago, he had been taken down almost immediately. "I need to go help him!" he said, raising two fingers to his forehead.
"Now hold on a minute" Elder Kai said, distracting Goku. "Do you realize the peril that you'll be in if you go back now? You've used up your accumulated spiritual energy from over the past seven years, and without a transport, you'll be much weaker when you arrive."
"So?" Goku said defiantly. "I've been to Earth without a transport before. I saved my son from Bojack, and I can help save him from Buu!"
"Hmm..." Elder Kai hummed in concentration. "No, that won't work again. I see what you mean, but that little visit last time is not the same case as this time. Strong enough to stun that cretin Bojack, you were, but you wouldn't have had the strength to fight him head on. Without saved spiritual energy, your spirit body is much weaker in the physical world than it is in Otherworld. After all, it is only a solid version of your soul. The energy you used hardened it into a true body, but it was limited. That was why your Super Saiyan 3 drained your time so fast."
"What are you saying?" Goku asked.
"I'm saying that if you go there now, you'll be hardly at the level your friend Vegeta was at, even if you went all the way to your full power" Elder Kai said bluntly. "A spiritual body has trouble holding together in the physical world. You would be weak, and should Buu strike a fatal blow, our last chance would vanish from existence, as you would be no more."
"Can't you help somehow then?!" Goku cried, desperate. "Grant me more of that spirit energy, or a solid body to go in?"
"Do you really think that if we could just grant you life, that we wouldn't have done it by now?" Elder Kai huffed. "If you could, you, Vegeta, and the rest of your friends that just got sent to this realm would be back out there fighting right now. Face it, on your own, going down there, you'd be kapoot."
"Hrrgh…" Goku growled looking down.
"Hoooowever" Elder Kai continued. "I may have just the thing to grant you and Gohan the necessary power to defeat Buu."
"What? Really?" Goku gasped.
"Mmm hm!" he nodded, reaching up and pulling his earrings off. "This is how we did things in my day!"
The old geezer had been right. Even at Super Saiyan 3, his power felt shrunken. Why did he have to overshoot? He had been fighting for his life, no, his existence, because he missed when he threw the Potara to his sun.
When it seemed that he managed to catch a lucky break, when the boy's Fusion expired within Buu. His power shrunk to a level much closer to what he had been before the absorptions. But when he managed to absorb his son, it was all over.
Here he was. Tien was down for the count. Dende was ruled out because the Dragon Balls were needed to bring everyone back to life. And Hercule? Maybe he'd gain enough power to last half a second longer.
Maybe if he could trick Buu into wearing it, maybe in the new warrior, his influence would be strong enough to limit Buu's destruction.
"No, that wouldn't work" he thought. "Buu doesn't even have ears!"
"Ninnnneeeee!" Buu said drawingly.
Tensing up, Goku prepared himself. Maybe, he could get lucky? His body didn't really exist right now. It might cost his very existence, but if he poured his full power into a Super Kamehameha at Super Saiyan 3 while using the Kaioken technique? The strain on his body would be near instantly fatal, but maybe with power would be enough to destroy Buu?
And just when it seemed that the last bit of hope was about to leave, far away, he felt a miracle happen. "Wait, could that be…" he asked hopefully.
"TEN!" Buu screamed, diving at Goku.
"Yeah, YEAH!" Goku cheered, putting his fingers to his forehead and vanishing into thin air.
"Don't you understand, Vegeta? If we don't do this, we'll be gone from existence! Buu will get away with everything he's done, which includes absorbing your son and murdering you and your wife!" Goku nearly screamed at his rival. "You plead pride, but that's the pride of a dead race, Vegeta! This is our home, this is our race, and if we don't do that, we lose them too! Are you really going to let that happen?!"
"KAKAROT, SHUT UP AND HAND ME THE DAMN EARRING!" Vegeta bellowed.
Goku's eyes widened. He hadn't expected it to be that easy. "Awesome, Vegeta!" he said, tossing the Potara to the other Saiyan. "Just remember, once we fuse, we're joined forever."
"WHAT?!" Vegeta exclaimed. "Fool, you could have mentioned that soon!"
"Hey, it's either joined forever or out of existence forever" Goku muttered, before an unknown force picked him up and pulled him through the air, towards Vegeta, who was flying towards him in like fashion.
Buu watched this event in amusement. "So, they've finally decided to do something?"
The bright light that had flashed into existence when the two had collided had faded, and in the two's place, stood a single fighter. Navy gi, orange undershirt, and spiky black hair. The gold earrings swung from his ears, as he looked up into the sky, his look one of pure confidence.
"So what do you call a Vegeta and a Kakarot fused together?" the new warrior asked. "Vegito sounds alright!"
Floating into the air, Vegito smirked as he stood across from Buu, glowing halo hanging above his head.
Even made of two dead warriors, Vegito's new body was powerful enough that Buu was no match. He didn't even have to become an ascended Saiyan to trounce the monstrosity. And then, the slimy piece of bubblegum did the one thing he had been waiting for. He absorbed him.
He protected himself as he was taken into Buu's body, and even once he was forced to split, Buu's magical body interfering with the bond of the Potara, they were safely inside, and went to find their friends.
Somehow, Buu found out there were alive, and nearly killed them in response. They managed to barely get away, their friends and the good Buu in tow. Escaping the Majin's body had been the tough part, but nothing could prepare them for what came next.
The Earth was gone. Theirs sons were gone. The only remnants of the planet Earth were space debris, the two Saiyans, Hercule, Bee, and Dende. And what's worse, the newly reformed Kid Buu had started systematically flitting across the galaxy, annihilating planet after planet. He even found his way to Otherworld, where he threatened the entire planet of heroes.
As a last ditch effort, Goku and Vegeta managed to draw his attention by powering up to their very limits, and summoned him to the world of the Kais, the place of their final battle. Now back in Otherworld, with a brief refresher from Dende, Goku and Vegeta were now able to fight at the full limits of their power. However, even that wasn't enough. Buu's unrestrained evil was too powerful and unpredictable for even the fully powered Goku to handle.
However, while Kid Buu was distracted by the good Buu, Vegeta came up with a plan. Sending Dende and the others to Namek, he put it in motion.
"You're going to use a Spirit Bomb."
Using the power of Porunga, the Earth and its people were finally restored. Even Vegeta lost his halo, while Goku kept his own. And they would be the ones supplying power to the attack, enough to obliterate Kid Buu.
At least, that was the plan. Only the Z-Fighters gave their power when Vegeta requested it, and while the attack had already formed itself much larger than any normal attack they would conjure, it still had a long way to go before it was strong enough.
Goku tried, and those who managed to recognize the voice of the kind Saiyan pitched in, but the vast majority of the Earthlings continued to ignore their pleas.
And then, Hercule, in a bout of rage at hearing the carelessness of his people, shouted in anger, finally getting the attention of the people of earth. Hearing the voice of the 'man who defeated Cell,' almost unanimously, the entire population raised their hands to the sky, and the Spirit Bomb ballooned to the size of a mountain, and it was ready to fire.
The gargantuan attack fell upon the Majin, forcing him back. His evil might was so great, he took control of the attack, and began to push it back at Goku. Even if the attack couldn't hurt the Saiyan, if it failed to destroy Buu, all hope was lost. Permanently. And Vegeta, in a final stroke of brilliance, had Dende use Porunga to restore Goku's energy to the brim. Using his power, the Super Saiyan flared to life, and with a final forceful push, the mountainous attack completely obliterated the Majin.
The planet was unrecognizable. Several planets still floated through space as debris, and the universe was now several-dozen-billion beings less now than it had been. But the senseless destruction had been quelled.
The good version of Buu had managed to survive, barely. Vegeta was for using his restored body and power to destroy the last Majin in the universe, but from Hercule's pleas, Goku vetoed the destruction, and Buu was spared.
Elder Kai had decided that, this one time, Goku would be allowed to return to Earth a little longer. The dead should not walk among the living, but this time, Goku had earned it. Fingers raised to his forehead, Goku, Vegeta, Dende, Hercule, Buu, and Bee vanished from the World of the Kais.
Gohan, Piccolo, and the boys had just landed atop the lookout, where all but Piccolo were immediately smothered by their mothers. For half Saiyans, they were surprisingly frail when it came to their ultimate attacks, squeezing the life out of you.
"So, Gohan, hardly recognized ya'" Krillin laughed as he walked over to his old friend, once he had freed himself from his mother. "Geez, your power is through the roof. What exactly did you do?"
"A Kai did this for me" Gohan chuckled sheepishly. "So I'd be strong enough to beat Buu. It didn't quite work in the end, but hey, when have things ever been that easy for us?"
"Frieza having power to spare when Goku first transformed, Cell coming back when you ascended, yeah, seems to follow the pattern" Krillin laughed.
"You said it" Gohan agreed. "Well I-" he stopped short. "Huh?"
Suddenly, five new powers popped into existence on the Lookout, catching his attention. "Wait, is that…"
"Oh… Why is he here?"
"WHOA, WHY IS HE HERE?!"
Majin Buu was certainly the center of attention. Gohan dropped into a fighting stance, ready to pounce at a moment's notice. The Majin would no longer hurt his friends as long as he was still breathing. But before he could make a move, Goku swung in front of him.
"Whoa, guys, take it easy" he said, waving his arms rapidly.
Trunks, who had also been ready to throw himself at Buu, was being restrained by his father. "Take it easy, son, it would appear that he is our 'guest' for now."
Hercule, who had bravely stood between Buu and the Z-fighters, let out a breath as he realized that they wouldn't be attacking his friend. He looked around. "It… It's all back?" he asked.
Goku nodded. "Sure is" he said. "The Earth and everyone on it is back, just like before."
"But, how is that possible? I thought that bad Buu killed everyone, then the worse Buu blew it up" Hercule asked. He was sick of pretending this was a bad dream. Maybe the public didn't need to know yet, but he had just been thrown between planets and witnessed a planet nuke made out of people waving their hands in the air like they just didn't care.
"Dragon Balls" Goku said cheerfully. "Our friends went to another planet that had them, and made the wishes to restore the Earth."
Hercule's eyes widened. "What?! You can just wish for stuff like that?!"
"If you have the time to go around the planet and find 7 small glass balls that could be anywhere, yeah" Goku shrugged.
Hercule looked back at Goku. "And everyone is back?" he asked hopefully.
"Everyone not completely evil that has died since the morning of the tournament, yeah" Goku said, remembering how Vegeta had phrased the wish.
"THEN I GOTTA GET HOME!" Hercule shouted running towards the edge of the Lookout.
"Uh, wait just a second, Champ-" Goku tried to say, to a pair of deaf ears. Hercule was too focused to realize he was on a small platform several miles in the sky, and didn't notice the edge until he was already over it. He tried to flap his arms in an attempt to make his way back onto the edge, but physics don't work that way outside of cartoons.
Hearing Hercule as he fell, Gohan turned around, and with lightning speed, dashed over the edge and caught the falling afroed man before he could fall very far. Sighing, he levitated back up to the Lookout and set him down on the edge. "You may want to get someone's help with getting back down there" he warned. "It's a several day climb down."
"T-thanks for the warning" he said shakily.
"Trying to take the easy way out, I see?" Vegeta laughed loudly. "Come on, even you can't be that stupid."
Hercule looked at his feet in shame and let out a sigh. Vegeta walked over. "You know, I'm not sure you completely thought bringing your little friend home through."
"Wha? What do you mean?" Hercule asked.
Vegeta rolled his eyes. "Think, you ignoramus!" he shouted. "You might know what's going on here, but that doesn't mean that the rest of the population does. How are you going to keep the entire planet from freaking out when Buu comes back down there? I doubt they'd listen to you when they're in the middle of trying to destroy the biggest threat to the Earth again."
"Vegeta, I already thought all that through" Goku said, walking over.
Vegeta raised his eyebrows. "Oh, this ought to be good" he said sarcastically.
"It's simple, really" Goku said. "Hercule can keep Buu at his place for the next 6 months until the Dragon Balls recharge, and then use our wish on them to get rid of the memories of Buu from the earthlings. The six months can be kind of a test to see if Buu can behave himself, then if he can, we do that so he's free to go around."
"Please, that plan is-" Vegeta stopped short, blinking, before looking back at Goku. "...Actually not terrible. That is, for any plan that keeps that pink blob on our world."
Hercule stood up, and dusted off his gi. "Well, I'm sure Buu can hack it! After all, I made him what he is now!"
"Really? You made him the entity that murdered several planets before he got under control?" Vegeta asked.
Goku scratched his head. "Technically, Super Buu and Kid Buu were different than this Buu, since this Buu was inside them the entire-"
"Oh, shut your trap with the semantics!" Vegeta snarled.
"Well, this has been fun and all" Hercule said, backing up slowly. "But I really need to get home. Especially with Buu with me, there's something I need to take care of."
"Oh, alright" Goku said, turning away from Vegeta. "You need any help getting back down there?"
"Only if Buu doesn't want to fly me down" Hercule said. "It's fine, really. Besides, I'm sure you guys want your rest after this whole thing. What, between the bubble gum and mountain sized bombs, you must be tired. Plus, uh, there's the, um…" he trailed off, pointing above Goku's head.
"Hm?" Goku grunted, looking up. "Oh, right, I'm still dead."
"Aaaanyways, I'm gonna get going now" he said. "Hey, Buu! You ready?"
Buu looked up from the others. "Oh, yes, Buu ready! Buu come now!"
After Buu had flown off, Hercule on his back, the two Saiyans and half-Saiyan returned to the others. The Lookout had become almost a party of sorts, a party for the defeat of the evil Kid Buu.
Gohan chatted with Dende a lot, catching up for the first time in ages. Goku and ChiChi had also gone somewhere else on the Lookout a while back. The others all talked with each other, some of them slowly leaving as dusk fell. Krillin and his family took Roshi and went back to Kame House a while back, while Tien had snuck away some time ago. Vegeta must have left almost immediately after Hercule did, because he hadn't been seen all night, not even when Bulma and Trunks boarded a jet home. The sky was a deep purple, all light almost completely gone, when ChiChi came over and told them to come with her.
Confused, Gohan followed his mom towards the back of the Lookout, where a small part of the family gathered around Goku.
"-to go back pretty quick here, I don't want to be in trouble with Elder Kai, after letting me stay this long."
"What?" Gohan asked. "You have to go back already?"
Goku looked over and saw his eldest son looking shocked, and he gave a sad smile. "Yeah, old guy was nice enough to let me stay this long. I don't need to be getting in trouble with a Kai, especially a Supreme Kai. King Kai still hasn't let me live down the whole Cell incident."
As much fun as the gang had been having that night, the mood immediately seemed to sour as the news of Goku's imminent departure came to light.
"It just doesn't seem fair, that you have to leave after all we've been through that you have to leave again" ChiChi said, sounding small.
"Yeah, please don't leave again, Daddy, I just got to know you!" Goten cried, clinging to his father's leg.
Gohan almost didn't have the heart to, but he leaned down and grabbed onto his brother and gently pulled him off of his father. "Come on, squirt" he said. "We can't change this, he has to leave again."
Goten appeared to be on the verge of tears. "But… I don't want him to go…" he sniffed.
"Hey hey, don't be sad, Goten" Goku said soothingly, looking between the three of them. "You know, I think that it's time that my vacation in Otherworld comes to an end."
"Vacation?" ChiChi asked. "Death is a vacation?"
"Wait, Mom, that's not the point" Gohan said, looking at his father. "What are you saying exactly?"
Goku scratched the back of his head. "When I left, it was because several threats had threatened the Earth because of me. Frieza came for revenge, and Gero designed everything to kill me. But Buu was coming whether I was here or not. It might have taken another year, or longer, but Buu was here and coming. And if I had actually been there, well, maybe things wouldn't have gone so wrong before we managed to fix them."
"So, I was thinking, if they're willing to do it for me, in a few months, when Namek's Dragon Balls recharge, I can finally come back to stay, for good."
The last sentence was met with a shocked silence. "Does… Does that mean… That-?"
Goku nodded. "If all goes well, in a few months, I'm coming back to life, and planning on staying that way this time-WHOA!"
The Saiyan was caught off guard when his wife lunged forward and pulled him into a bone-crushing hug, sobbing into his shoulder. Blinking, he held her comfortingly. "Hey, it's okay, Chi. I mean, this should be a good thing, right?"
Still in his shoulder, ChiChi nodded her head. When she didn't stop her death grip, Goku rubbed the back of his head in confusion. "Geez, ChiChi, did you cry this much when I died?"
It took a long time to get her to calm down, by which point Goku was almost sweating bullets because of how long he had stayed. "Listen, guys, I'd better go now. I don't need to be punished by not being allowed to come back to life, you know?"
Gohan nodded. "Yeah, I know, Dad" he said.
Smiling, Goku stepped forward and enveloped his oldest in a firm hug, one which he immediately returned. They were saying goodbye, but it wasn't for good this time. Namek's Dragon Balls only took about 130 days to recharge, which means his father could be back with them just before the memories of Buu are erased, depending on how fast the Namekians find them.
"I'm proud of you, son" Goku said as he released Gohan. "You fought great out there. Heh, I guess you really are the strongest in the universe again now, huh? I mean, I'm not half that strong at Super Saiyan 3, yet."
Gohan blushed at his father's praise. "Thank you, dad. Don't worry, I'll make sure Earth stays safe, while you're gone and even after you're back."
Goku smiled. "Great job" he said, patting his son on the shoulder before kneeling down to hug his other son. Goten was trying his best not to cry. He didn't want his dad to go at all. Goku pulled him close. "You know, no matter what Vegeta or the others think, crying isn't a sign of weakness. It can actually make us stronger."
And so, the tiny demi-Saiyan let it all out, just like his mother had. Goku wished that he could stay long enough to fully comfort his son, but his time was out. Pulling back, he looked at his family one last time. "ChiChi, don't forget what we talked about, ok?"
ChiChi nodded. "I know, Goku. I won't."
Seeming satisfied, Goku nodded. "I'll you guys soon. I love you" he said, raising his fingers to his forehead.
"Bye Dad/Daddy/Goku!" the three of them waved, just as Goku vanished into thin air, all trace of him vanishing.
They felt extremely sad that Goku had left again, but at the same time, they were hopeful, happy, that soon, he'd be back with them for good.
Gohan looked at his mother. "Hey Mom, what did Dad mean when he said to not forget what you guys talked about?"
ChiChi smiled sadly at her son. "Oh, I'll tell you about that later. But for now, I think that we need to go home."
"Oh, alright" Gohan said, kneeling down and letting his mother climb on his back, piggyback style. He looked back at her, then down at Goten. "If you two want to hold onto me real tight, I can get us home really fast" he said.
"But I can fly myself, Gohan" Goten said, pouting a little.
"Yeah, but I'm a lot faster now" Gohan said, smiling.
"I'd rather you didn't break the light barrier just to get home" ChiChi said. "Come on, it's a nice night, and it usually only takes you a few minutes to get from here to there, right?"
"Yeah, I was just opting for a speed test" Gohan shrugged. "It's ok. Let's head home."
Shouting his goodbyes to the few that were still on the Lookout, then jumped over the edge, auras flaring as they dived through the clouds, back over the, finally peaceful, planet below.
"Now, be careful, Buu. You see, people still think that you're a bad guy, because they didn't see what you did, and they would be too scared to listen, ok?"
"So Buu no see anyone so no make scared?" Buu asked, trying to wrap his pliable head around it.
"That's right" Hercule said. "But, those people said that they would help us. Just be good for six months, and you'll be allowed to do whatever you want… As long as it isn't bad."
"Ok!" Buu said cheerily. "That easy. Buu do."
Hercule had Buu set them down just outside the back door to his mansion. He tried to explain the situation to Buu so that he knew what it was like. Personally, he didn't understand much of it himself. He still had no idea how you could just 'wish' memories away. Maybe mass hypnosis?
Hercule twiddled his thumbs nervously. "So… You're going to be staying with me. Which, uh, means that there's something we have to do first."
"Oh? What Hercule need Buu to do?" Buu asked.
"Simple, really. Just hide around the corner of the house. Then, when I call you, come over and be friendly, ok?" Hercule requested.
"Ok!" Buu said, turning around and waddling behind the corner of the house, leaving Hercule and Bee behind.
Hercule took a deep breath, and used his gi to mop up the severe amount of sweat on his forehead. "I sure hope this works, Bee" he muttered. There was one person that would have to know about Buu, he just hoped that she would be okay with it once he explained it. "Come on, boy, let's go get her.
Walking up the steps, Hercule slowly opened the back door and stepped inside his house. Looking around, satisfied that no one was around, he walked deeper inside, Bee sitting down by the door.
Once he made his way into the main hall, he took a deep breath. "Oh Videl!" he called. "Pumpkin?! Are you here?!"
"Dad?!" a sharp, feminine voice rang out from higher in the house. There was a flurry of hurried footsteps, and then a small girl with jet-black hair came into view at the top of the stairs. Looking down, her blue eyes widened as she flew down the stairs four at a time, and ran up to her dad. "Dad, you're here!" she exclaimed.
"Well of course I am! I'm the World Champ, after all! Nothing can keep me down!" Hercule laughed loudly as he hugged his daughter.
Videl smiled. "It's really strange, but that entire time, well, I can barely remember any of it until you said that you needed us."
Hercule gulped. He remembered that that boy, the delivery boy, said something about Buu having killed everyone on the planet with an attack.
"Do you know what that was all about?" Videl asked.
"OH!" Hercule shouted. "Yeah, I do! That Buu, he wasn't just a monster, he was an alien. So he had some powers, like spraying knockout gas out of his body! He sprayed enough to knock out the entire planet, but luckily, I had came prepared for his underhanded tactics, and had a gas mask that protected me while I beat him down!"
Videl frowned. "But what about those two with you that said the planet had been destroyed, and it just came back?"
Hercule began sweating as his brain worked overtime. "Well, uh, you see, right then, I couldn't talk to all of you. I was too busy distracting Buu, and they thought that people wouldn't listen to them if they just told you to start cheering. So they lied for a good cause, to try and motivate everyone. Buu was strong, and I couldn't defeat him right away. Those two managed to distract Buu long enough for me to get over to the mic, and that's when the rest happened. It was because of everyone's cheering giving me the motivation I needed to deliver the final blow! HA HA HA HA!"
He posed as he finished the story, secretly freaking out. "Please be believable, please be believable!"
Videl smiled. "Wow, Dad, you really are the strongest." Then she frowned. "Which means we probably won't even be able to sleep without the press filming us for a long time to come…"
"Oh, the press can wait, pumpkin" Hercule said. "But, ah, for now, there's something I need to show you. Just, please, don't freak out, and just listen to me?"
Videl's frown deepened. "What is it, Dad?" she asked uncertainly.
"Come out back with me" he said, waving her towards the back door. Bee still sat right near the door, tail wagging as Hercule and Videl got closer.
"You got a dog?" Videl asked. "That's what you needed to talk about?"
"Uh, well, no, not really, Bee's only a part of it" Hercule said.
"'Bee?'" Videl laughed. "Who names a dog 'Bee?' That's like naming a starfish 'Butterfly.'"
"Well, I wasn't the one who named this little guy" Hercule explained as he and Videl stepped out back. Placing a hand on Videl's shoulder, he turned his daughter towards him. "Now, just stay calm, ok? Look at me for now, don't turn around" he warned, before looking up. "Ok, come on out now!"
"Ok!" a high-pitched childish voice rang out.
Heavy footsteps began to move across the ground, as an absentminded humming began to sound closer and closer to them. It stopped just a few feet behind her. "What you want me to do, Hercule?"
"Just introduce yourself" he said, steeling himself. "This is my daughter, Videl. Videl… uh… just stay calm when you turn around."
Not liking the sound of her father's voice, Videl turned around very slowly, looking at the ground. He sounded nervous, he, the world champ. When she turned around, the first thing she noticed were baggy white pants and yellow boots. Her heartbeat quickened drastically as she looked up, and saw the pudgy pink face of Majin Buu.
"Hi Miss Videl, me Buu!" Buu said.
Following their meeting, Hercule planned to schedule a visit to his doctor to see about replacing his eardrums. The scream that followed made sure that he'd be needing new ones.
Mount Paozu - 2 Days Later
Gohan flew out of the sky and landed just outside of the door to their house. He had just spent the day flying around the world, seeing some new places for the first time. Everything seemed to be in perfect shape, not that he doubted the powers of Porunga. But restoring an entire planet and its populace would be a strenuous task for anyone, no matter how much power you had.
He was surprised that he was even allowed to leave today. Even since Goku left again, ChiChi had been a bit softer towards him and Goten. He was still expected to study, but it was no longer the sole activity he went through in life. After a couple hours that morning, ChiChi had told him he could go spend the rest of the day outside. After visiting with Icarus for a bit (who had grown so much in the ten years he had known him, he almost looked as big as Shenron himself, comparatively, although he was still the same dog-like dragon he had always been), he had gone on his flight. The sun was just barely beginning to sink low in the sky as he opened the door and strode in. "Mom, I'm back!" he announced.
No longer in his father's gi, Gohan simply wore his old navy one. He loved how his father's looked, but it was much more comfortable in his own.
"Oh, Gohan, I've been waiting for you" ChiChi said as she walked out of the kitchen. "I wanted to talk with you for a bit before we have dinner."
"Um, ok?" Gohan asked, confused. "Did she want me to stay here when she said I could go outside? Man, I shouldn't have taken that trip around the planet!"
"Don't worry, Gohan, it's nothing bad" ChiChi said, noticing his confused look. "Come, sit down."
"This sounds just like those movies" Gohan thought with a twinge of panic. "She might be weaker than me, but if she has her frying pan, I'm a goner!"
Sitting on the couch, he looked up at his mother, who looked down at him. The look in her eyes, it wasn't anger. Whatever it was, he couldn't place.
"Now, you asked me what Goku had talked to me about right before he left, right?" ChiChi asked, to which Gohan nodded. "Well, it turns out, Goku was just a little concerned with you. Or, more so, how you've been raised by me."
"What?" Gohan asked.
ChiChi waved him down. "He wasn't saying I was a bad parent, but he pointed something out to me, that I agree with. In all my efforts to make sure that you have a good life, through all of your studies, I haven't let you be a real kid yet. I've isolated you, your only friends being at least your father's age, or your family, besides a few. That girl from the village west of here is nice, but she doesn't come around that often."
"You mean Lime?" Gohan asked.
ChiChi nodded. "Besides her, the only friend you have your age is a dragon. And while Icarus is sweet, he's more of a pet than anything."
"What are you getting at, Mom?" Gohan asked, a sense of foreboding taking root.
"I haven't let you be a kid, to have fun and make friends you age" ChiChi said. "So, since you're so far ahead, I decided to sign you up for something that will let you make some friends your own age."
"Signed me up?" Gohan asked. "For what?"
"High School" ChiChi smiled.
Gohan blinked, paled, and lost balance, all in the same moment. "What?!" he asked. "Mom, I can't go to high school! I'm about to turn seventeen, that's way too late!"
"I already filled out the paperwork" ChiChi waved her hand. "You can attend for your senior year. You're so far ahead that you'll barely have to work. You'll have a diploma to help you get into college easier, and you'll be able to make some friends while you're at it."
"But how am I supposed to blend in with all the other kids?" Gohan asked. "Unlike them, I'm half alien!"
"Gohan, you're smart enough to know how to conceal your power and act human" ChiChi sighed. "Listen, I know it sounds bad, but it'll be alright. The year started about a month and a half ago. There's an entrance exam for you to take before joining, and it starts back up on Monday, the day after tomorrow."
"But-" Gohan tried again.
"No buts" ChiChi said sternly. "For this year, the only studying you'll be doing is related to projects at your school. I'm giving you a year off to socialize. I figured you'd be jumping at the chance."
Gohan knew he stood no chance at winning the argument. "Some 'most powerful being in the universe' I am" he thought. "I can't even win against my full-blooded human mom!"
"Now, come along, Gohan, let's have some dinner. You can take the test online tonight, and then you'll be ready for Monday" ChiChi said.
Gohan groaned and stood up. "I'll just go take the test right now" he said. "I'm not that hungry right now."
"!" ChiChi's eyes widened in shock. "Are you sick?! Do you need to visit a doctor?!"
"No, Mom!" Gohan waved his arms. "Just… Give me some time to wrap my head around this, ok?" Without waiting for a response, he turned around and walked down the hall to his room, rubbing his head as he went.
ChiChi frowned as she watched him walk away. "Maybe that was too big of a surprise to drop on him all at once" she thought. "I'm only thinking about what's best for him. Goku's right, I've kept him from having a real childhood. This is all I can do to make up for that. If he doesn't go, he'll become a social outcast."
"Gohan, please, just think about it" she said, just loud enough for him to hear, before she wandered off to retrieve Goten.
In his room, Gohan sighed, and banged his head on the desk, punching a head-shaped hole in the surface. Grimacing, he reached over and grabbed the bottle of superglue he kept by him for this stuff, and placed the piece back, using a minor ball of energy to dry it immediately.
The test was up on his computer. He noticed a form for Orange Star High School on his desk, and assumed that was the place that his mother was sending him. It wasn't far away, only a few hundred miles.
"Would it really be that bad?" Gohan asked himself. "I mean, school itself would be easy enough, but I don't know a thing about kids my age. Lime is about as sheltered as me, Goten and Trunks, well, they aren't like most kids either. Heck, no one I know knows anything about being a normal kid. Not even my mom, she was a princess. I don't think normal kids are royalty."
Sighing again, he leaned back and looked up. "I guess that she has always thought about what was best for me. Who knows? It might be nice to have some friends that aren't three times my age, or know me as half Saiyan, or are human." He'd had a conversation with Hercule while they flew to find Dende earlier.
Hercule looked up at Gohan. "So, uh, hey, Delivery Boy? I, uh, I want to know. Did you ever, um, hold it against me?"
"Hold it against you?" Gohan asked. "What, Cell?"
Hercule gulped. "Yeah. I know, I wasn't the one that defeated Cell, but, they needed a story, and, well, I didn't know if you were even still alive."
Gohan smiled. "Nice to hear that you cared" he chuckled. Looking forward, he continued. "Nah, I never really held it against you. After all, md and my family, my friends, we like a private life. We were fine letting you take it." He glanced down. "Of course, bad-mouthing us as much as you do almost got my friend Vegeta to fly over and blast you on several occasions, but we managed to knock him out before he could do anything."
He laughed as Hercule grew white as a sheet. Knowing that you've been in mortal peril several times without even realizing it has a tendency to cause a panic.
If he wanted to keep them private, he wouldn't be able to do anything out of the ordinary by human standards. But where did the ordinary fall? Most people couldn't fly or blast, sure. But he didn't know their normal physical capabilities. And considering how powerful he was now, it might be difficult masking himself as one of them.
"I'll find a way around it" he thought. "Mom's right, I need to get out there and make some friends. It's nice out here, but it's a bit lonely. Who knows, maybe high school could be… Fun?"
Steeling his resolve, Gohan glanced at the screen in front of him, moved the mouse, and clicked "Start Test."
This was the prologue. I said in the beginning, this would kind of an AU, which I changed several things. The main one being Gohan not going to high school until Buu's defeat, leaving Videl's involvement out. But there were some other things. For example, Goku being dead for now. I decided against the classic Old Kai Life Transfer. I know he could have done it, but that's the point of an AU. Things are different. Besides that, a lot of this chapter was rehashing the Buu Saga, sorry about that, just wanted to kind of get all the changes out of the way. And just some insignificant details, like Vegito having a halo since both Goku and Vegeta were dead this time.
The whole spirit body deal is just a bit of headcanon I have. Pay it no heed outside of here.
No one will recognize Gohan. No one saw him transform back at the ring, and no one had seen him since. His name barely got mentioned at the tournament where anyone could hear.
Yes, Goku will be back in later chapters. I'm just delaying his involvement by a bit. Hercule's a believer now, but he's still the same guy. He's trying to keep the world from panicking from the discovery of energy, which of course, leads to a bit of lying, especially about Buu.
So Hercule knows Gohan, just not by name. Gohan has his Ultimate power, starting in high school. And everything… Waits until chapter 2. Hah, had you going there.
Sorry, that came out rude. Anyways, so this is the beginning of my new story. Just a prologue, but I hope it was entertaining nonetheless. It came out a lot longer than I expected. I tried some humor, even though it's not usually my strong suit. Please, tell me if the concept is interesting. I'll be doing my best to develop things as we go along. Some reviews, especially on the first chapter, always tell me where to go. It's nerve-wracking enough as it is, posting chapter one of a new story.
I hope you enjoyed it. With college in the way, all I can say is that I hope to have another chapter up within the next week, but no promises.
Please, drop a review, this being my first chapter and all, and I hope you all have a good day. Cya!